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Is the Bail Bond Industry Good or Bad for Your Downtown?

Monday, June 9, 2014

downtown bail As someone who works for a company that has been in the bail bond industry for over 80 years, it never ceases to amaze me how little people understand the bail business and how negatively they look upon it.  This feeling was reconfirmed after reading a recent letter to the editor that was published in this weekend’s Las Vegas Review Journal.

The letter was titled, “Justice Industry Inhibits Downtowns.”  The main thrust behind the letter was that the author was unhappy with how, in his opinion, the jail and all its associated businesses (lawyers, bail bondsman, etc.) have become the centerpiece of most downtowns and have made them an unpleasant place to be.  The author even suggests banishing these types of businesses to the outskirts and industrial sections of town to join the strip clubs in operating in dreary seclusion. 

While I can understand how someone could come to this conclusion and line of thinking about the criminal justice system, it still is unfortunate.  When there is a thing in life that you want to avoid, putting it somewhere out of the way makes sense.  However,  to take legitimate business like the legal profession and the bail bond industry and equate them and lump them together with strip clubs and adult book stores is misguided and unfair.

For example, anyone who knows about the criminal justice system knows that bail bond agents play an essential role.  This role both protects the public as well as the rights of the accused in what has been proven time and time again to be the most effective mechanism for ensuring that defendants who are released prior to trial, show up for trial.  When defendants show up for court, the system maintains its accountability and effectiveness while any potential victims of the accused crime get a chance at justice.  Without commercial bail or financially secured release, defendants would either stay in jail (which is unconstitutional) or they would be released on their own recognizance (OR Release) through a pretrial services agency (which would be responsible for supervising the defendant).  OR Releases have been show in countless pretrial studies to be a much less effective form of pretrial release when it comes to getting defendants back to court.

Based on these types of insights into the bail industry, one can easily see that classifying them into the same category as other so called “seedy” and “eyesore” types of business is extremely myopic.  I suggest the author stop believing what he sees in the movies and turn off the reality television shows and study up a little more on the businesses he is so easily condemning.  Because once someone looks through a clean lens, it is easy to see that these businesses are located right where they need to be and to be honest, we think most people would agree, thank goodness they are.

Written by: Eric Granof

Read Las Vegas Review Journal Letter:  LETTERS: Justice industry inhibits downtowns

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